Bihar tells SC, Mumbai Police siding with Rhea, obstructing probe

The Bihar Police authorities have presented the Supreme Court (SC) tell-tale evidence that showed how the Mumbai Police was siding with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and obstructing the probe conducted by them regarding the reasons that caused his death by suicide at his Bandra apartment on June 14.

a car parked on the side of a building: Supreme Court (HT file photo)

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Supreme Court (HT file photo)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a first information report (FIR) in the case on Thursday, a day after it was transferred to the central agency on Bihar government’s recommendation.

Bihar government told the SC that the Mumbai Police did not share crucial evidence of the case and obstructed further probe and “forcibly” quarantined a Bihar-cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Vinay Tiwari, City Superintendent of Police (SP), Patna (Central), who was sent to Mumbai on Sunday (August 2) in connection with the case.

An affidavit, drafted by advocate Keshav Mohan, was submitted before the SC in response to a petition filed by Chakraborty, seeking a transfer of the FIR, filed by Rajput’s father KK Singh, from Patna to Mumbai.

Also watch: Rhea Chakraborty appears before ED after enforcement agency rejects her plea for postponement of the summon (Video by The Times of India)

“The non-cooperation by the Mumbai Police with the Patna Police is clear from the fact that the former has not supplied any documents such as inquest, post-mortem and FSL (forensic science laboratory) reports, CCTV (closed-circuit TV) footage etc; to the latter, despite several requests,” the affidavit stated.

The affidavit pointed out that Tiwari’s quarantine was an “afterthought” by Mumbai Police to block the probe, as none of the other Special Investigation Team (SIT) officials of Bihar Police, who were in the city since July 27, were made to follow similar coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-induced protocols.

“The aforesaid fact casts a serious aspersion on the role of Mumbai Police, who is apparently siding with the petitioner for the reasons best known to them, “ the affidavit stated.

So far, Bihar Police has recorded statements of 10 people related to the Rajput death case.

The statements of Chakraborty or her family members, named in the FIR, have not been recorded yet.

Bihar Police also verified bank account details of Rajput based on his father’s complaint that close to Rs 15 crore was transferred from his account to unknown persons not linked to him.

Rajput’s finances, including bank account and credit cards, were in Chakraborty’s custody, his father had alleged in his complaint accusing her and her family of abetting his son’s death by suicide.

Bihar Police cited the reason behind recommending the CBI probe.

“On the basis of preliminary investigation conducted by the Patna Police, it surfaced that the various facts and shreds of evidence surrounding the present case may be obtained in Mumbai or the rest of India and given the sensitivity of the matter and the inter-state ramification and presence of most of the accused in Mumbai, the director-general of police (DGP), Bihar, requested the Bihar government to recommend the investigation of the case to CBI,” stated the affidavit.

Bihar Police denied that it lacked jurisdiction to probe the FIR lodged by Rajput’s father citing Section 179 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The provision states: “When an act is an offence by reason of anything which has been done and of a consequence which has ensued, the offence may be inquired into or tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction such thing has been done or such consequence has ensued.”

Bihar Police claimed that since Rajput’s father is a resident of Patna, the state police and courts have the jurisdiction to try the offence.

The affidavit stated that the case probed by the Mumbai Police relates to the probe of unnatural death under Section 174 of the CrPC, which has a limited scope and cannot be classified as information relating to a cognisable offence.

Bihar Police’s affidavit held that Chakraborty’s petition is without jurisdiction, premature, misconceived and not maintainable.

She had filed a petition under Section 406 of the CrPC to transfer investigation in the FIR filed at Patna to Mumbai.

The affidavit said, “The FIR has been registered on July 25 and the case is still at the primary stage of the investigation. Hence, the transfer petition filed by the petitioner under 406 CrPC is not maintainable and it is liable to be dismissed at the very outset.”

Bihar Police also claimed that there is nothing in Chakraborty’s petition that showed bias on their part towards Rajput’s family members to demand probe to be shifted out of Patna to Mumbai.

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